YAY!!! We are pleased as punch to inform you that our very own range of Linens have finally arrived at The Strawberry Thief warehouse!

Liberty and Linen really is the most delicious combination… We have tried very hard to select a diverse range of colours that will not only be beautiful when used by themselves but are also very complimentary to our favourite Liberty fabrics.

.

linens1 (2)

View the full range here!

.

Made from 100% Linen and weighing 165 grams, our Linen is very fine and light weight – making it soft and durable enough for both quilting and clothing.

.

Remember: Linens need to be given a good wash before use, and pressed with a product like Best Press for best results. They tend to have a bit of movement in them!

.

Look at how beautiful these colourful Linens look next to some of our fave Liberty prints –

.

IMG_0386

Thorpe C with our Orange Peel, Melon and Poppy Red Linens.

.

IMG_0432

Small Susanna B with a range of our blue linens – Turquoise, Light Blue, Cyan and Powder Blue.

.

IMG_0396

Our Ocean Linen looking gorgeous with Christelle B, Gemma B and Rachael D

.

.

More Lin-spiration! We love the following examples of linen in projects, especially when paired with Liberty!

.

9200294246_fc50e98ba6

.

Super cute Linen pouch with Liberty hexies, made by VeryBerryHandmade

.

99592cd20ab0fb895bac551341966d22

.

While it isn’t Liberty, this beautiful mini quilt uses Linen background and colourful floral lawns – Source

.

DSC_0476-3
.

Liberty circles quilt on Linen background – Source

.

3d840ab12eb8948d288527dcb805a823
.
How beautiful would a patchwork quilt like this be in Liberty and colourful Linens? Source

04bab62e3993fb6143ffc601d42147a3

This flying geese quilt would be beautiful using different coloured linens – with one or two sections featuring a liberty print to really make it POP! Source

Have you sewn something using Liberty and Linen? We would love to see! Tag us on Instagram (@the_strawberry_thief) or Facebook!

EDIT GIVEAWAY IS NOW OVER THANK YOU!


The supremely talented Jemima Flendt (from Tied with a Ribbon) has released her first book, Weekend Quilting! YIPPEE!

I was lucky enough to receive a digital copy earlier in the year and I can tell you it is jam-packed full of sweet little projects that you will be just itching to start! As you may have gathered from the title, the 16 projects are supposed to keep your hands busy for a couple of days at most – they really perfect when you want to accomplish something that looks amazing in a short amount of time. The instructions are clear and easy to follow, making it suitable for quilters of all skill levels. Jemima has a beautiful soft aesthetic with her fabric and pattern picks- see if you can spot the Liberty that she uses in different projects!!
.

   IMG_9653
.

As a sponsor and Liberty provider to Jemima, we can not be more proud of her and her fantastic book – of course I was pleased as punch to be invited to participate in the Weekend Quilting showcase.

For my showcase project, I couldn’t resist the cute little houses and trees in the Avenues Mini Quilt… I mean it is a bit of a dream of mine to live in a house constructed entirely out of Liberty! The foundation paper piecing templates were all provided in the book and it was a breeze to follow the concise, beautifully illustrated instructions.
.

IMG_9649.

I used some of my open Scrappy Boho packs for the mismatched fabrics in the colourful houses and trees… in the pattern Jemima re-uses the same fabrics throughout the quilt, but I decided to do all of mine mismatched – because that’s just my scrappy kind of style!

I used Bellis for the binding to pop against the grey Capel K background, and the pale Cosmos Paisley as the backing.
.

IMG_9651

.

I then embroidered on some grass and added a couple of yoyo suns poking out over the treetops – because why not? I love adapting patterns to add a little bit of my own personality 🙂 It’s such a cute and whimsical little quilt, I’m very happy with the result!

You can purchase Weekend Quilting through Jemima’s website, here.
.

IMG_9650

.
♥ GIVEAWAY ♥ 

.
We are teaming up with Jemima and her publisher, Fons & Porter, to offer our followers a pretty darn special Weekend Quilting Giveaway!!!

We have kitted up the fabric to make your very own Avenues Mini Quilt out of Liberty – and we will be offering it as a prize along side a free copy of Weekend Quilting provided by Fons & Porter! Yippee!!! 🙂

The winner will receive –

1 copy of Weekend Quilting by Jemima Flendt
As well as The Strawberry Thief Liberty Kit for the Avenue Mini Quilt, consisting of:
♥ 2 x Scrappy Boho Packs
♥ 50cm x background fabric (Capel K)
♥ 1 x Cosmos Paisley Fat Q
♥ 1 x Bias Binding pack
♥ Enough batting to complete the quilt.

.
We think this is a really awesome prize  – but you’ve got to be in it to win it! You can enter as many times as you like by doing one or all of the following:
.
♥ Follow The Strawberry Thief (@the_strawberry_thief) AND Jemima (@tiedwitharibbon) on Instagram
♥ Repost The Strawberry Thief photo of our Avenue Mini Quilt, using the hashtag #TheStrawberryThiefShowcaseGiveaway so we can see!
♥ Like and follow us on Facebook (thestrawberrythief) and share our Giveaway post
♥ Tag as many friends as you like on our Instagram or Facebook Weekend Quilting showcase posts
♥ Follow us on Pinterest (#berrythief) and Re-pin our Weekend Quilting showcase pin
♥ Comment on this post with your favourite thing to do on the weekend!
.

Doing 1 of these things will get you 1 chance to win, doing 2 things will get you 2 chances, etc.
.
♥ COMPETITION CLOSES MONDAY 5TH JUNE 2017 – WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED ON TUESDAY 6TH JUNE. GOOD LUCK!!! ♥

.


.

Follow the Weekend Quilting Showcase:

Weekend Quilting Showcase - Rectangle

.

.

Mon 29th May             Lisa Cox – A Spoonful of Sugar Designs

Tues 30th May            Robyn Shapiro – The Strawberry Thief (Hello there! That’s me!)

Wed 31st May             Melissa LeRay – Oh How Sweet

Thurs 1st June           Emily Dennis – Quilty Love

Fri 2nd June                Samantha Dorn – Aqua Paisley Studios

Mon 5th June              Nadra Ridgeway – Ellis and Higgs

Tues 6th June             Peta Peace – She Quilts Alot

Wed 7th June              Stacy Olson –Stacey Olson Design

Thurs 8th June           Sedef Imer- Down Grapevine Lane

Friday 9th June           Elizabeth Chappell – Quilters Candy Box

Mon 12th June            Suzy Williams – Suzy Quilts

Tues 13th June           Rachel Howard – Family Ever After

Wed 14th June            Amy Sinibaldi – nanaCompany

Thurs 15th June         Jodie Carleton – Ric Rac

Fri 16th June               Ange Hamilton – A Little Patchwork

Mon 19th June            Heather Andrus – Quilt Story

Tues 20th June           Elea Lutz – Elea Lutz Design

Wed 21st June            Lauren Wright – Molly and Mama

Thurs 22nd June        Claire Turpin – Claire Turpin Design

Fri 23rd June              Jennie Pickett – Clover and Violet

Mon 26th June            Fat Quarter Shop

Tues 27th June           Alisha Orlando – Ministry of Fabric

Wed 28th June            Minki Kim – Minki Kim Sewing Illustration

Thurs 29th June         Jemima Flendt – Tied with a Ribbon

Happy Easter everyone!
In light of the celebration of Spring (well, in some parts of the world) and all that it represents – rebirth, new beginnings, fertility and the circle of life – we thought we would share one of Robyn’s most recent quilts with you… her ‘New Beginnings’ quilt.

This post is part of our new category, what’s up buttercup? We are going to attempt to blog more about what we have been up to and making in our spare time ♥ Enjoy.


.

.
This quilt came about when I was trying to challenge myself to make a design that embraced negative space – normally more is more is more in my quilts and I fill very space possible with pattern and colour! I was feeling very inspired by the amazing Aeriel Grove quilt of Carloyn Friedlander that some girls in my sewing group were making – both in terms of the play between low volume fabrics and Liberty as well as the idea of using circles to create an aerial landscape. Having said that, the uniform nature of the squircles all lined up in rows wasn’t quite what I was looking for.

.

liberty-chambray-aerial-grove_4_carolyn-friedlander_web-2Aerial Grove quilt by Carolyn Friedlander, on her blog here.

.

I was flipping through a copy of Frankie magazine when the image below struck me – it reminded me of the circular, organic shapes in a real life aerial landscape… the playful patterns of shapes interacting but not quite touching, a dance of different colours humming together, similar and yet all individual. To me, circles are so evocative of new beginnings – they represent life and all of it’s cycles.
.

IMG_8984

.
It just all seemed to fit together with what I wanted to achieve – a quilt pattern that challenged me to think and work differently, a take fresh approach to doing things! I researched how to make squircles like Carolyn Friedlanders but adapted them to fit my pattern – they would be not so uniform, different sizes, and a bit more organic and reflective of my style.

I did some research on Pinterest, and inspired by colour palettes from nature, I decided that I wanted to do a low volume background – which I have never done before- with a mix of blues, greens and yellows on top. Linen seemed like the obvious choice, it just pairs so well with Liberty! (Just make sure you wash it well before using it!) I didn’t want it to be one flat piece as a background, so in order to create a bit of interest, I picked different shades of greys and ecru linens and stitched them all together.
.

moodboards-02
moodboards-03My pinterest mood board influenced my choice of Liberty prints.
.
So I didn’t really plan this quilt too much – I just stitched the linens together to make the background which I then pinned up. Then I started thinking about the circles – having picked a blue and green palette, I took the fabrics I thought might work and played around with them, folding them up in to different sizes and pining them to the background to get an idea of which composition and configuration might work. I just played with the colours that worked well together and bounced off each other – paying close attention to the print scales – it was interesting to find that balance, if there were too many small prints I found that they just disappeared in to the background, where as all large prints made everything a bit flat. Mixing the print scales created the depth that I was looking for!

My advice with a quilt like this is to pin it up, and walk away from it. Give yourself a break and come back to it before you make your final decision, or you can even photograph it. I was changing fabrics right up until the last second!
.

IMG_8682

.

I really enjoyed the appliqué process with this quilt – it’s so calming! I actually basted the low volume background linens to the batting and the back fabric (Liberty Michelle) with big stitches and then I appliquéd on top – it gave me something more substantial to appliqué on to. I used a bit of sew-line glue to keep my circles in the composition that I wanted while I was working, making sure to leave half an inch as room for the needleturn.

.

IMG_8676

.
It was hard to not be a perfectionist! The shape of the circles changed a bit as I needle turned around them, but I embraced this as I was going for the organic look. Liberty is so soft and easy to appliqué with – it really fell in to nice shapes by itself along the way.  I’m definitely going to do more appliqué in the future!!! A useful tip: Always thread your needle straight off the spool – don’t snip and then thread it backwards, otherwise it will knot when you are using it. I used size 10 Tulip Milliners needle for my appliqué.
.

IMG_8674

.
Quilting
As I was making this quilt as a decorative piece, I didn’t have to worry about it needing to withstand heavy use and washing. With this in mind, I was able to lightly hand quilt it in a way that emphasised the design of the circles, rather than over quilting it heavily with a dense pattern.

The quilting stitches become leading lines, intersecting the centre of each circle whilst also overlapping other circles on it’s course. I felt that this tied in very well with my original thoughts on circles and how they were representative of the cycles of life and how they interact. I know it sounds a bit corny, but I think that some times that’s okay!
.

IMG_8672

IMG_8680.

Usually for the backing fabric on my quilts, I pick something really wild or fun. but this quilt felt like it wanted something soft and pretty. I picked Michelle because has all the colours of the linens nicely tied in together.

Now that I have finished it, it’s one of my favourite quilts – it’s so different to what I usually do and I really learnt a lot about letting go from the experience. I call it my New Beginnings quilt, and it now hangs in on a wall in the guest room of our house… it is a soft and welcoming piece to help people feel at home.
.

GuestRoom2

FCR_7

 

Did you know that we made and named our Greenery Bundle before the 2017 Pantone Colour of the Year, Greenery, was even announced? Yup, it’s true. I’m not saying it was a stroke of genius, or that we can predict the future, or that Robyn has enough power to influence the folks over at Pantone (but hey, I’m also not NOT saying any of those things!) – but it didn’t come as much of a surprise that Pantone went for an inspirational green colour this year.

4695b55a6f50785f544a84e84b048ffb
Source: Mr Kitly

From lush indoor gardens that ooze relaxing vibes and are oh so on trend right now – to an increased eco-consciousnous coming to the forefront of global matters – it really is the colour green’s time to shine. And no wonder, being that green is a positive colour of balance and harmony – it relates to nature, growth, connectivity and endurance. Refreshing and revitalising – what better colour to reflect the fresh hopes and change we are hoping for in this new year?

So let’s embrace the positivity of GREEN where we can! We have taken inspiration and updated our Greenery Bundle with of some of our favourite Liberty greens to soothe and INSPIRE you. Take a look for yourself!

featured

Green

If you are interested in purchasing a bundle of the above fabrics as part of our new and improved Greenery Bundle, simply click here.

IMG_8064 copy

Did you know that you can browse The Strawberry Thief shop by colour? To shop for all Liberty prints featuring green, click here.

We also have a beautiful shade of green in our selection of Liberty Tana Lawn SOLIDS. Click here to view Green J.

 


SusannaQuilt6

The beautiful improvised quilts of Susanna Allen Hunter

Don’t be fooled – while these quilts could be mistaken for modern abstract quilts, they were in fact made by the wife of an Alabama sharecropper, Susana Allen Hunter, between the period of 1930 and 1970. Susana’s quilts were made using an improvisational style that was popular among the poorer, more isolated pockets of the rural South of America – you may have seen similar quilts produced by the women of Gees Bend. Although all the women making these quilts were restricted by a lack of resources, they made good use of what they did have – such as old clothing, sacks and fabric scraps.

SusannaQuilt3
Susanna in 1960

SusannaQuilt9

The quilts weren’t for show – they were to be put to good use – and yet Susanna’s quilts were always strikingly playful and interestingly composed. Her quilts are testament to her keen eye for design and innate artistic sensibility – what was once produced by her out of necessity and practicality is now admired by others as the work of a truly gifted artist.

SusannaQuilt12

SusannaQuilt11

Have you ever sat down to start a quilt and found the whole design process – from what design you will make to your fabric choices – overwhelming? One thing that we can learn from Susanna is to not take things to seriously -trust your instincts – sometimes you just have to start a quilt and see where it takes you. Embrace your ability to work freely and loosely.

These quilts wouldn’t have the same charm if they were perfect grids, with all the seams dead straight. Things don’t have to be perfect to be beautiful. We’re not saying you should be slap-dashing all your quilts together, but you need to know when to ease up on yourself. Maybe have a glass of wine – please stop at a bottle though! 😉

SusannaQuilt4

SusannaQuilt10

SusannaQuilt8

SusannaQuilt7

Is there any thing that you like – or dislike – about these quilts? We would love to hear from you.

All Images from this post from pinterest

What inspires you when you start planning a quilt?

Other makers? Traditional quilt blocks? Colours from a favourite artwork? Maybe it’s patterns from nature? Like many others, here at The Strawberry Thief we find that just looking around in our day to day lives can provide us with a myriad of colour palettes and playful patterns to work with!

Take your observations and translate them in to your own fresh ideas… once you begin to question why a certain aesthetic or colour / pattern combination appeals to you then it can not only challenge you to make decisions that you might not have otherwise considered, but it can also help you to develop and understand your own unique style! It’s a good idea to write down or draw your ideas, and keep a visual inspiration board or diary going so that you always have something to look at when in need of some Quilty motivation!

Our Sew – Darn – Inspiring blog posts will hopefully serve to provide you with some regular inspiration too!

Speaking of which- how beautiful are these dresses worn by the women of the Herero tribe in Namibia? We can all learn a lot about bold colour and design decisions from these women! Perfect motivation to get designing first thing on a Monday morning!

 

herero-4

 

herero3

 

herero5

 

herero7

 

Herero woman with yellow scarf

Stunning, aren’t they? Now that we have our quilting motivation for the day we just need to get up and get going / sewing! Have a beautiful day!
In need of more inspiration? Visit The Strawberry Thief Pinterest page.

All photographs by Jim Naughten –  You can read more about the history of the Herero tribe and how their unique traditional garb came to be in this very interesting article!